Team Vitality vs Excel Esports
Excel pulled off quite a convincing win against SK on Friday and are now set to fulfil their promise and end Week 6 of LEC Summer with a perfect 2-0 week. Looking back at Excel’s win over SK, the Youngbuck’s squad played well across the board. They survived the early-game aggression from SK and had a solid hold on the objective control by picking up all drakes, leaving SK with only two Rift heralds.
Most of Excel’s success came down to a solid performance from Kryze on Vladimir and Special, who had one of those days when he shines, but to be honest, he made a few too many iffy plays for me to praise him too much.
Now the question is whether he can stack up with Milica and I’m not sure he can. Milica had an excellent game against Origen on Azir, where he produced 27% damage share. Another player who had a stand-out performance that day was Comp on Aphelios since he finished the game with 31.9% damage share.
Even though Vitality’s win over Origen was a complete fluke, it’s hard to deny Vitality played well and even managed to out-macro their opponents which is a huge achievement in our book. Now the question is whether they can do the same against Excel, who as we know are one of the most sound teams in the league when it comes to the basics.
Last time out, Excel won against Vitality in a fairly convincing fashion which in most part was due to their superior objective control. While Excel continued to impress with their solid macro play, it’s also worth noting that Vitality improved in that department and are currently holding better marks than Excel in both objective and vision control.
Another thing to note is that Vitality tend to perform well in games where they don’t get shut down early and since Excel are not exactly an early-game oriented team, it’s likely that we will see Vitality take an early lead an try to use that to snowball into a win.
Across the last three games (since they replaced Nji with Skeanz in the jungle), Vitality produced 13.3 kills per game, whereas Excel gave up 12.3 kills per game in their last three.
Vitality have become far more potent in their games as of late which leads me to believe they will pick up quite a few kills this game and while Excel usually do a solid job keeping their death count low, Special’s iffy and overly-aggressive playstyle does not convince me Excel will manage to end this game with under 10 deaths.
Prediction: Vitality over 10.5 kills – 1.884
Misfits vs Schalke 04
Schalke 04 took down G2 esports in what was a shocking, yet a deserved win on their part. Many things went into their upset win, but at the end of the day, I see no reason why Schalke shouldn’t have won in most part due to their strong draft and controlled approach to the game.
Misfits, on the other side, have dug their hole even deeper with a crushing loss to Rogue. The match started in Misfits favour, but was overall very slow, which was expected since that is Rogue’s playstyle (slow down the game and win the late-game). What we can take from that match is Misfits’ disastrous decision making and very shaky team fighting strength. While we can’t criticise them too much considering Rogue are one of the most cohesive teams in the league, Misfit’s synergy struggles go way further back that that match alone.
Misfits are still priced as the favourites for this match, which seems fair as they have better individual quality, but when it comes to playing like a solid unit, we have to give it to Schalke.
Schalke are objectively the worst-performing team in the league, but to be fair, they were a bit unlucky in most of their losses. They’re a team that never gives up and no matter what quality team they face, Schalke fight until their Nexus goes down which is seen in their average game duration (35:00), which is the second-highest in the league.
Even though their numbers are not exactly spectacular, we can forget they outplayed MAD Lions (in the early game) and crushed Fnatic, who are both very disciplined teams and considering they are facing Misfits who make way too many mistakes in their matches, Schalke should be more than capable of making Misfits bleed and possibly even push for a W.
Prediction: Schalke 04 over 8.5 kills – 1.909
MAD Lions vs SK Gaming
MAD Lions flew past Fnatic on Friday and are now set to face SK Gaming, who had to admit defeat to Excel and are now tied-third in the league with 6-6 record.
MAD Lions are currently looking like the strongest team in the league thanks to their individual quality, strong synergy and most of all their ability to execute any composition they feel like playing on any given day. SK Gaming, on the other side are a team that holds a lot of promise and tend to have their flashes of greatness, but they still lack the needed experience to make any serious noise in the LEC. Perhaps they will manage to contest a high spot comes 2021 season, but for now, SK still need to work on their execution and a bit more contribution from all of their players.
Most of SK’s strength comes from ZaZe and Crownshot, so when those two get shut down, SK usually struggle. This will be an issue since they will be facing Humanoid and Carzzy who are looking like two of the best players in their respective roles in the LEC and it’s extremely unlikely they will struggle against SK’s duo.
MAD Lions are quite frankly a level above SK in all elements of the game and while there is a slight chance SK might grab an early lead, their mid-late game execution still lacks behind that of MAD Lions.
Prediction: MAD Lions -8.5 kills – 1.934
Fnatic vs Origen
How much deeper can Fnatic fall is the real question this split. As historically one of the strongest teams in Europe, Fnatic are struggling to recapture their old form and are entering the final match of Week 6 with a 6-6 record. While that record is not exactly disastrous, the race for the playoffs this split is incredibly tight with only one win separating the third-placed team to the ninth-placed team.
Origen are in a similar situation with 6-6 record, so winning this game will be crucial for both sides, but based on their recent performances it’s hard to be too optimistic with either.
Both sides lost their most recent matches, but it was Origen’s loss that hurt far more. They not only lost to Vitality but got completely crushed by a team that has been struggling with gaining any traction this split. There are arguments to be made Origen’s early-game missplay played a role in that loss, but quite frankly, we expected a lot more from Origen, considering the quality of players they possess.
Fnatic and Origen last met during Week 2, when Origen won quite convincingly, albeit it’s worth noting that at the time Fnatic were experimenting with their drafts i.e. Soraka ADC.
This match will be crucial for both sides and if there is one thing we know about Origen is that they historically don’t perform well under pressure. At the same time, Fnatic are not in great form and make way too many mistakes, especially in their most recent bouts. This should turn out to be a close and bloody match with teams going back and forth for well over 30 min.
Calling out a winner is still something we would like to avoid due to the obvious struggles on both sides, but we can be sure that with so much on the line a passive approach to the game is out of the question for both Origen and Fnatic.
Fnatic have seen on average 31.6 kills in their games across the last three, while Origen saw 19.3, which seems a bit low, but it’s worth noting that Origen averaged 11 kills per game across those 3.
Prediction: Over 21.5 kills – 1.869
G2 Esports vs Rogue
If Rogue win, they are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs no matter how the remainder of the season plays out, but can they do it? There is no hiding the fact that G2 are in shambles and missing out the playoffs is slowly starting to look like a real possibility.
Given G2’s struggles, Rogue are entering this bout as favourites, but quite frankly, there is a real possibility they might lose this bout. Last time out G2 won against Rogue and that was not just a one-off performance from the reigning LEC champions. Rogue’s slow and late-game oriented playstyle is exactly what G2 want to face.
G2’s struggles this split are not necessarily because their players started to perform poorly, but rather because of the meta shift, which is far less versatile and puts much more emphasis on early game. G2 were usually early-game monsters, but we can’t forget how solid this team is when it comes to late-game team fighting and approach to the macro play. Unlike Origen, G2 are also a team that historically shines when they get put under pressure, so there is also that.
This is likely the last chance for G2 to bounce back and salvage this season and even though they did not look too convincing as of late, they won’t fall down that easily this weekend.
Prediction: G2 Esports to win – 1.909